Discover historical Solovetsky Monastery and explore natural attractions of Solovki Archipelago.

Solovetsky Islands are located in the western part of the White Sea and consist of six big and numerous small islands. The biggest island is the Big Solovetsky Island that is famous for the medieval Solovki monastery.

There are plenty of historical and natural sights on the islands. Please find the list of the main ones below:

Solovetsky Islands attractions

Solovetsky Monastery and Fortress

The famous Solovetsky Monastery was founded in the first half of the 15th century. Now it is the main attraction of the islands. The monastery is surrounded by boulder towers and walls of Solovki fortress.

Solovetsky village

A lot of historical sights have been preserved on the territory of the village, for example, “Herring hut” - a house of fishermen, a water dock, a monastery’s hydro-power station, a monastery pier, chapels, a bath-house built with boulders, tar works and a cellar.

Sekirnaya Hill

There are Svyato-Voznesensky Skete and the Church of Ascension on the top of Sekirnaya Hill. The Church of Ascension also serves as a lighthouse. During the times of GULAG, the most severe punishment cells were located in this church. In the memory of people executed there the Commemoration Cross was later erected at the foot of the hill.

Big Zayatsky Island

This island is located southwest of the village of Solovetsky. Attractions of Zayatsky include the 18th-century St. Andrew's Church, prehistoric labyrinths and Russia's first stone dock harbor. The tundra landscape of the island is very picturesque. Bearded and ringed seals occasionally visit Zayatsky island and there are plenty of seabirds to look out for. For many travellers, a 3-hour boat tour to Zayatsky is a highlight of visiting the Solovetsky Islands.

Botanical Garden and Makary Hermitage

Makary Hermitage was founded in 1822. The summer house of Archimandrite Makary of 1882 has been preserved. Since the late 19th century, various plants have been grown here, and now there are 1626 species.

Big Muksalma Island

On the Big Muksalma Island situated to the southeast of the Big Solovetsky, monks used to keep their cattle. A boulder dam was constructed to connect two islands in the 19th century. This outstanding engineering facility is about one-kilometre-long and up to 6 metres wide. There a forest path from the village to the dam.

Gulag museum

The exhibition of the museum is devoted to the period of 1920-39, when Solovetsky Camp of Special Purpose and Solovetsky Prison of Special Purpose functioned. Solovetsky Gulag history museum is housed in a former barrack of 1929.

“Negotiation” Stone

It was put on the shore of the south-western part of Solovetsky Island in memory of the successful defence against British ships during the Crimean War. The skirmish between the Solovetsky garrison and two 14-gun wooden-hulled screw sloops HMS “Brisk” and HMS “Miranda” took place in July 1854.

The Belugas Cape

It is located to the north-west of the village. Starting from the end of June till the beginning of August it is possible to watch belugas in the wild.

Lakes and canals of Solovetsky Island

There are hundreds of lakes on the island. In the 16th Century, monks started to connect lakes by means of canals. Nowadays, a good active tour by a paddle boat is available.

Getting here

Travelling to the Solovetsky Islands

Getting to Solovki by boat from Kem

As of 2021, boat from Kem (port of Rabocheostrovsk) is the only reliable option of getting to Solovki by sea. Usually, there are two daily departures in the summer time. From late August till mid September there is one boat a day.

Timetable of the boats Kem – Solovetsky - Kem (subject to change)

Departure from Kem

Solovetsky, arrival / departure

Arrival to Kem

June - August

M/S «Vassiliy Kosyakov» 08:00

10:00 / 19:00

21:00

M/S «Metel» 13:00

13:00 / 16:00

18:00

September

M/S «Vassiliy Kosyakov» 08:00

10:00 / 17:00

19:00

In case of heavy storm or thick fog boats between Kem and Solovetsky may be delayed or cancelled.

Getting to the Solovetsky Islands by plane from Arkhangelsk

As of September 2021, there are three flights a week between Vyaskovo airport in Arkhangelsk and Solovki. The timetable is as follows:

MON, WED, FRI Arkhangelsk 13:00 – 13:55 Solovetsky 14:30 – 15:25 Arkhangelsk.

Flights are operated by “2nd Arkhangelsk United Aviation Division” using L-410 short-range aircrafts.

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